How many kilometers of code do you write?

May 26, 2014

I was reading an article today and the author said he was hired to write “kilometers of code” it got me curious… How much code does one need to write to write a kilometer of code?

How much code is a kilometer of code?

First we have to set the stage. With all the various fonts and font types out there we need to consolidate to one size. Due to sheer popularity lets us a 12 pt font. The calculation will be done on a per line basis (To really snaz this out put each character on one line!).

That standard height of a 12 pt font is 1 pica… I have no idea what a pica is but another quick search reveals that a pica is 4.2333×10(-3) millimeters, or more simply 4.23 millimeters.

1 kilometer contains 1,000,000 millimeters.

The formula to determine how many lines of code it takes with a 12 pt font to reach a kilometer is:
1,000,000 / 4.23 = 236,406.619385

For the sake of ease lets make the number of lines 236,406.

That is actually not many lines of code.

Kilometers of code in some popular projects

Lets look at a couple popular projects.

WordPress: 381,894 lines or 1.61 kilometers of code.
Jetpack (WordPress plugin): 418,439 or 1.77 kilometers of code.

Drupal: 320,856 lines or 1.35 kilometers of code.

Windows XP 45,000,000 or 190.35 kilometers of code.

Linux kernel 3.6: 15,900,000 or 67.25 kilometers of code.

Mac OS X 10.4: 86,000,000 or 363.78 kilometers of code.

How many lines of code are you writing? Drop a comment and let me know.

2 thoughts on “How many kilometers of code do you write?

  1. (May 26, 2014)

    Ooooh, nice one! You may have confused poetic license with literal accuracy, but still, great job! 🙂

  2. Ben Lobaugh (blobaugh) (June 3, 2014)